Thyme (pronounced “time”) is added to different cuisines across the globe. There are different varieties of thyme with subtle differences in flavor. So if you are wondering what does thyme taste like, it depends on the variety you make use of.
Common thyme and lemon thyme are the commonly used varieties in cooking; common thyme has a sharp, almost minty flavor with earthy and floral hints and has a little sweet and peppery kick. Lemon thyme is quite similar to common thyme but has a distinctive lemon aroma and flavor.
There are other types of thyme such as woolly thyme, creeping thyme, wild thyme, and elfin thyme — all of which aren’t suited for cooking but as rock garden filler. Let’s discuss this aromatic spice even further.
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What Does Thyme Look Like?
Dried thyme has smaller leaves, and this makes them a little finer than rosemary. When dried, the leaves become crunchy, although they soften up when added to a dish.
Fresh thyme leaves, on the other hand, are soft and tender. They also have a vibrant green color and are cleaner-tasting than dried thyme leaves; this makes most chefs opt for fresh thyme instead of dried.
Read Also: Does Thyme Go With Beef?
What Does Thyme Taste Like? | Does Thyme Taste Good?
Thyme is an aromatic herb used in cooking and other culinary arts. It has an earthy flavor with hints of pine and mints. But many people, however, are unsure if thyme tastes good.
Thyme is added to many cuisines worldwide to make tasty dishes. It is used as a seasoning for meats or can be added to salad dressing for depth and flavor.
How thyme tastes depends on if you are using dried or fresh thyme as they are very much different from each other.
When fresh, thyme has a more powerful lemony scent as well as a stronger flavor than when it’s has been dried.
To tell if the thyme is fresh or dried, you can do a taste check. If you use fresh thyme regularly, you should be able to tell the difference if you taste its dry counterpart.
Otherwise, it might be hard to tell fresh and dried thyme apart because they only have a slightly different flavor from each other, but when compared side by side in small quantities, you should be able to notice slight differences in the taste.
When adding fresh thyme instead to a dish, you’ll need about three times as much dried thyme; this is due to the stronger flavor and scent dried thyme has compared to its fresh counterpart.
Dried thyme smells very different from fresh thyme because it has a stronger scent and an earthy aroma.
Thyme is perfect for adding flavor to different dishes, especially when the dish includes ingredients such as onions, garlic cloves, and vegetables.
Read Also: Does Thyme Go With Salmon?
How To Cook With Thyme
Thyme is a flavorful and fragrant herb that adds the right touch to many dishes. Thyme can be added to soups, stews, and tomato sauces for extra flavor and aroma.
Thyme leaves can be stirred into eggs or sprinkled on bread before they are baked for crispy toppings. It is the perfect ingredient you need when looking for a flavor boost for your dishes.
Add fresh thyme leaves to your dishes as they simmer to enable the flavor to infuse slowly into the food. Add fresh thyme to your dish in small amounts because it is a strong herb that can overpower other seasonings when too much is added.
It should be added close to the end of cooking time to preserve its delicate flavors and achieve the best results. The fresh herb can be used in marinades, rubs, and dressings.
In some cultures, thyme leaves are added to meats before it is roasted or grilled to further enhance the flavor of the dishes with their intense but not overpowering aromas.
Meat can be marinated in a thyme-infused mixture, or you can make herb butter to finish the dish.
Fresh thyme leaves can be sprinkled on top of vegetables to make them cook easily and to add flavor enrichment to the sauce.
How To Store Thyme
Just like any other ingredient, fresh thyme is best! If you regularly add thyme to your dishes or drinks, you can get a small plant and keep it in your kitchen. This way, you get fresh thyme leaves that can be added straight to your dish.
If you prefer to buy them at the store, there are ways to keep the thyme fresh for longer. Fresh thyme leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days if placed in an airtight container.
If you intend to store your thyme in the fridge, it’s best to keep them with the stem still on so you can wrap them in a damp paper towel before sealing them in a plastic bag. This will enable the thyme to last much longer, up to two weeks!
Of course, dried thyme lasts longer than fresh thyme. You can store dried thyme leaves in a tightly sealed glass container at room temperature.
Because they are dried and moisture-free, the leaves don’t go bad, but they may begin to lose their flavor after some time. So ensure to use the thyme within a year.
Read Also: Does Thyme Go With Mushrooms?